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Seminar in Criminal Law: Current Issues in Law & Procedure

L776 is taught by J. Hoffmann

This three (3) credit research seminar will explore selected topics of current interest in criminal law and procedure. Each week, the professor will assign readings (all readings will be available for free, either online or via Canvas) about issues such as: the evolving meaning of consent in sexual assault; recent Supreme Court decisions about mens rea in computer fraud and medical drug abuse; self defense and stand your ground laws; police use of deadly force; big data and AI in criminal justice; the impact of new technologies on criminal liability and personal privacy; genealogy searches; the extraterritorial reach of criminal law; preventive detention; and the death penalty. Some of these issues will include a comparative dimension, based on discussions with faculty and law students from Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. The only pre-requisite is the mandatory 1L course in Criminal Law; however, students who have not taken Criminal Process: Investigation may need to do some additional reading in that area. Near the middle of the semester, after consulting with the professor, students will choose a topic in contemporary criminal law or procedure, and will begin to write a 20-30 page research paper on that topic. Collaborative papers are encouraged. Early paper drafts will be reviewed by both the professor and fellow seminar students. The final grade for the seminar will be based on the grade for the final research paper (80%) and a class participation grade (20%).